It Wasn’t a Stylish Marriage — They Could Barely Afford a Carriage

It seems odd that the last wedding story I have to tell you will be a short one, because I have very little information to draw from.  No photographs, no news coverage, no bridal veil stored away for use by future generations . . . and yet the bride and groom were my own parents, Ezra Mae and Jack Wild.

My parents met at Park Methodist Church in Lexington, when they were college students, in the young adult Sunday School class taught by Mrs. Annette Adams.  One of the things they had in common was the loss of a parent at a young age: Mother’s parents had both died before she was eight years old, and my father’s mother died when he was twelve.

After graduation from the University of Kentucky, my mother obtained a job teaching elementary school in the Tway Coal Camp in Harlan, Kentucky. With journalism jobs being hard to come by, my father took a position as a high school English teacher in Independence, Kentucky. After one year of being apart, they decided to marry.

The wedding was on August 25, 1935, as shown in this announcement sent out by my mother’s sister, Evelyn, and they set up house in the Martanna Apartments in Covington, now part of the Wallace Woods Historic District.

EM wedding announcement

martanna apts

The newspaper account of the wedding was written fifteen years later, by the groom, in his column “Jest Among Us” dated August 17, 1950:

The first wedding I had anything to do with was a bit more exciting for the spectators. The bride was nervous, understandably so, from thoughts of what she was getting into. The groom, on the other hand, was poised and self-assured — poised and self-assured, that is, up to the smack middle of the ceremony when the bride burst into tears. At that point the groom, so calm, so cool, so fully panicked, let out a giggle like a school girl on her first date.

If ever there was a photograph taken at the wedding of my parents, I never saw it. I share with you this picture, taken about that time, when they were obviously joyously happy — perhaps it was on their honeymoon . . . if they had a honeymoon.

ew25 (2)

Jack and Ezra Mae Wild

By the time they settled down in Lexington, Kentucky, they had lived in Covington; Madison, Wisconsin; Athens, Ohio; Morgantown, West Virginia; College Park, Maryland; and Lansing, Michigan. Between 1936 and 1951 they had three children. I’m sorry to say that they divorced after 28 years of marriage. My father died in 1991, at age 79, and my mother passed away in 2014, three weeks shy of her 101st birthday.


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